Dress Making – Sew a Top

  • Simplicity Pattern S9133 Misses' Tops – WeaverDee.com
  • B6731 | Sewdirect
  • Marilla Walker (UK) / Printed Sewing Pattern / Maya Dress + Top | Oak Fabrics
  • PDF Maya dress and top sewing pattern – Marilla Walker patterns
  • Ashton Top PDF - The Foldline
  • Ashton Top PDF - The Foldline
  • Ashton Top PDF - The Foldline
  • Closet Case Patterns - Cielo Top
  • Cielo Top & Dress Pattern - PDF Download | Closet Case Patterns
  • Cielo Top & Dress Pattern - PDF Download | Closet Case Patterns
  • Butterick B6688 Misses' Tops | Easy — jaycotts.co.uk - Sewing Supplies
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SKILL LEVEL: Competent

Suitable for someone who has completed several simple projects & gained confidence with using a sewing machine. Ideally this will have included one of my PJ shorts or A-line skirt projects or something similar. You will also be getting familiar with the language of sewing & know what we mean by selvedge, grainline, seam allowance etc.


These dress making lessons are ideal as an introduction to using sewing patterns, this includes:

  • understanding the pattern overview & requirements
  • correctly sizing your pattern & altering the pattern pieces
  • laying out & cutting out
  • choosing your seam finishes
  • understanding & following the pattern instructions
  • how to sew darts, insert pockets, finish necklines etc (depending on the pattern).
  • ensuring a nice finish & good fit

I have created the above collection of suitable patterns for sewing your first top or tunic (from woven fabric). Please click on any of the images above or take a look here to view the full Pinterest board & choose which pattern you would most like to make. If there are two of you, please choose one pattern you both like.


I will get the pattern. You will need to bring your own choice of fabric & matching notions. Once you let me know your chosen pattern I will get back to you with the requirements – quantities & advice.


It’s not generally possible to make a garment in one lesson. The overall timing will depend on the pattern you choose, your own sewing speed & whether you are able to continue with the dress making between lessons. We can come up with an approximate plan once you have chosen your pattern & we have had a chance to chat.

You may book 2 or 3 hour lessons & the hourly rate quoted below includes a 15% discount for booking 4 or more hours (a discount of 20% is available when booking 8 or more hours).

  • Individual lesson: 4+ hrs at £17 per hour
  • Sew with a friend lesson (2 people): 4+ hrs at £25.50 per hour

These dress making lessons are not suitable for Sewing Get-Togethers (3-4 friends).

Bookings are available throughout the week, including evenings & weekends.



There are sewing machines & all the tools you will need at the studio. You are also very welcome to bring your own machine if you wish.

Other than the requirements mentioned above, all materials will be provided. I have a wide choice of fabric scraps & will supply haberdashery items including cream & black zips, interfacing, piping cord & wadding as required for your chosen project, at no extra cost.

My Sewing Lessons for 1 or 2 people are designed for you to learn the relevant sewing techniques at a pace that is comfortable for you. This does mean that in some cases we may not complete the project in my suggested time frame & you may wish to book an additional lesson or complete the project at home. If you book a series of lessons then we will just carry over projects as & when we need to.

I regard the Sewing Get-Together of 3 to 4 friends as more of a one-off social event, so my focus is on you completing the project within the time that you have booked. This means that I will guide you through each step but will not provide the same one-to-one instruction as with a sewing lesson. I also allow extra time for most projects as they do generally take longer with more people in the room.

Once you’ve picked your project please book your lesson here.